Jesse Horwitz

Columbia Investment Management Company - Investment Analyst, Columbia University

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NYC 2040 What should (or will) NYC look like 27 years down the road?

There's two parts to this question. One is an industry mix question - NYC's economy today is dominated by finance, which is scary both because financial profits have been so high over the last couple decades relative to historical norms and because it's never healthy to have a city dominated by one industry. How do we move away from this model and what else should the business of New York be?

Part II of this is that the city has been designed to attract financial services professionals. In what ways should we move away from this, and how do you balance this need with not wanting to kill the golden goose, which has done a lot of good for the city?

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      Sep 26 2013: just downtown...
    • Sep 26 2013: ...."but in the end mother nature will respond to a country which fails to respond to its own warnings," nice way of putting it! Absolutely the truth.
    • Sep 28 2013: Yes, I agree.
      We humans have a chance, now a slim one, but we have always had this chance, to change, adjust and learn
      with compassion, empathy and humility toward all, and we have not.
      So, MotherF Nature will do so without mercy.
      And, just wondering Carolyn, is it okay to say, "sorry to be such a "drowner"?
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    Sep 20 2013: If humanity doesn't figure out a way to control nuclear weapons, global warming, antibiotic resistance, and so on, New York City may look like a very big version of 1946 Dresden, Germany.
  • Sep 18 2013: The cars will have no drivers. The skies will be full of drones making deliveries (lessening the number of cars).

    There will be cameras everywhere (including all of the cars and drones) and there will be far less crime.

    Someone will read an old (2015) debate about privacy and have a good laugh.
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    Sep 18 2013: Here is a post from a couple of years ago by Seth Godin on the strengths of NY:

    I think of New York as a hub of creativity and innovation, because it has long been such a cultural crossroads.
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    Sep 28 2013: I would say it will be even more 'exaggerated' than it is today. Exaggerated wealth, exaggerated population density, and exaggerated social divergence between plutocrats and the rest of the population.
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    Sep 26 2013: Two good points.
    The finance district is a major player, but there are other players... fashion, publishing, communications, but....
    in 27 years? It is possible that there will be no significant changes without some unlikely major event. Further, to
    continue to focus on any specific industry may be short sighted.
    New York has done well as a city well supported by the financial sector, but....
    With new technology, purchase of major markets by foreign investors, New York's golden goose may go the way of other golden geese. And therein lies the problem.
    New York governance in the recent past has spent all it could get and looked for ways to get more and spend even the most. Granted there are many justifications for all the expenditures... actually more reasons then sources of funding and that maybe the unlikely major event that could cause the city to implode.
    Could New York become another Detroit? Probably not in 27 years, but....
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    Sep 26 2013: I hope at that time Chinese would serve the world better with our economy, culture and technologies .And I'd like to dream of designs filled with Chineseness being used in New York to attract more Chinese tourists. :)
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    Sep 24 2013: Humans will be gone and cock roaches with be dancing in the streets....
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    Sep 18 2013: With financial services moving to the internet and thus the professionals can live anywhere, if NYC does not find something new it will look a lot like Detroit. AI: ghost town.

    Could NYC become an information analyst, logistics and exchange services world hub?
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      Sep 18 2013: I think that's fair to some degree (large chunks of financial services are being automated/moving to internet and can be relocated), although there's also a relational side that I think will be tougher to displace (face time still counts for something), and while these kinds of roles are probably relative small percentage in terms of financial services head count, would guess they're more substantial in terms of income. (Although this is a different kind of frightening prospect for New York - a somewhat gutted employee base with even greater income inequality).

      On talent base, New York does seem like a logical candidate for an information analyst, logistics, and exchange services hub - managing this kind of information isn't that different from managing the financial information it traffics in already...but salaries might have to come down for New York to be competitive in this.

      In my mind hope lies with universities, tourism, and New York's strength as a fashion/media startup hub, but it needs this activites to strengthen enough to decople from the finance core.
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      Sep 25 2013: I was in New York for the weekend last month and had a fantastic time. Everyone here is's such a hub of creativity and excitement. The incredible diversity of people living there was overwhelming. I wonder how long I would be enamored with all that, though. I live in a city where just about every museum or community space is free, the weather isn't nearly as harsh, and a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house close to the city with a fantastic school system is $170k. I just couldn't believe the cost of living in New York. Much as I love to visit, I'd hate to see so much of my paycheck go to basic living expenses as I would imagine is the case for many New Yorkers.
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    Sep 18 2013: What kind of sense do you want to make?
  • Sep 18 2013: Gee any choice can only be shown to be brillant or stupid over time. With instant communication there will be change no matter what.